Comprehensive guide to managing risks for tradesmen

Running your own trade business or working as a contractor often means you’re exposed to greater risk than many other business owners. There’s always the potential for an accident or other unexpected event to happen, no matter how careful you are. So, whether you work on domestic or commercial building sites, undertake maintenance and repair jobs or fix appliances, it’s important to take the right steps to make sure your place of work is safe for you, your employees and your customers and that you have adequate protection in place.

One of those steps is having the right business insurance.

1. Protect your livelihood

Public Liability insurance is undoubtedly one of the most important forms of cover for all types of tradies. It can protect you financially if you accidentally cause injury or death to third parties or damage their property as a result of your business activities by covering the cost of legal and defence costs, as well as compensation awarded to the claimant. Without the right protection in place, a claim made against you could put you out of pocket by tens of thousands (or even millions) of dollars, meaning you could lose everything you’ve ever worked hard for.

It’s likely you’ve collected a lot of tools over time, but have you ever stopped to work out the cost of replacing them if they were lost or stolen, or even accidentally damaged?  Insuring your tools with Portable Equipment cover will mean you won’t have to wear the expense of replacing them and could help you get back on the job a lot quicker.

2. Protect yourself

One of the last things you could probably afford is to be out of action for weeks or months if you suffered serious injury or illness, yet a survey by the Australian Physiotherapy Association reports that two-thirds of tradies have been injured in their current job. The good news is you can protect yourself with Personal Accident & Illness insurance. It pays up to 85% of your income, with a weekly benefit of up to $3,000, if you are unable to work due to injury or illness.

3. Be sensible on the job

Whilst having the right insurance is one of the best business decisions you can make, there are many other precautions tradies can take to help limit their risk of a disastrous event occurring… here’s just a few:

  • Ensure you and your employees are adequately trained for the job they are performing
  • Make sure you are always compliant with Work Health and Safety requirements in your jurisdiction
  • Have adequate first aid training
  • Be vigilant when working in close proximity to other people’s property
  • Use the appropriate tools and equipment, and wear the right protective gear
  • Look after yourself – stay healthy by eating the right foods, keeping hydrated, getting plenty of rest and exercising
  • Look after your tools – keep them locked away when not in use, engrave them with a personal identifier, maintain an inventory and record serial numbers, and fit an alarm to your ute if you store them in it overnight

Hipages have spoken to the experts and put together a list of some of ‘The best work safety gear for tradies’, from protective eyewear down to your work boots and more. Click here to read the full article.

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